Fyfield Manor, itself an historical building, with beautiful gardens is set in an area of countryside of high interest.
Within 15 minutes you'll find the following places:
A town steeped in history: born in the 6th century (if not before); King Alfred's ‘New Town’; Following William the Conqueror's invasion of 1066 a massive Norman Castle was built.
Ewelme – historic village: where King Henry VIII cavorted in the pool with his fifth wife, Katherine Howard; frequented by Elizabeth I; associated with the Chaucer family; resting place of Jerome K. Jerome; medieval church, cloisters and almshouses.
There is evidence of human settlement in Dorchester from Neolithic times. To the south, Iron Age people occupied a hill fort on Castle Hill; later the Celtic people enclosed their settlement by building the Dyke Hills, a rare example of a pre-Roman town, about half a mile from the present village.
“Travelling through Oxford we gain an insight into this famous University town and can stop off en route to make the most of this city's offerings. Otherwise, should you continue on, you will discover a transitioning Thames, travelling through increasingly human occupied land with grand houses, farms, villages and briefly, hills and high ground dominating the landscape.”
“The Ridgeway National Trail, 85 miles (136km) through ancient landscapes. Over rolling, open downland to the west of the River Thames, and through secluded valleys and woods in The Chilterns to the east, following the same route used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers.”
“Henley on Thames is a beautiful and historic market town intimately connected, as its name suggests, with the River Thames, being sited on one of the most majestic stretches of the river with the beech clad hills of The Chilterns, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, acting as a worthy backdrop. The area is criss-crossed by countless footpaths and bridleways offering superb walking and cycling in the Henley area.”
“Oxford is a vibrant, multi-cultural city full of history and heritage. It is home to the oldest English speaking university in the world, renowned museums, charming shops and cafes, beautiful gardens and meadows, and much more.”
Intriguing Tudor Manor with 14th-century fortifications, Ornamental gardens set within medieval walls, old-fashioned roses, wisteria walk and maze. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here under Elizabeth I.
– two villages worth a visit.
“Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, creator of Waddesdon, loved France and French art. In 1874, with his French architect Destailleur and his landscape gardener Lainé, he built this Renaissance-style château on a hilltop overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury. Completed in 1889 Waddesdon Manor is the last remaining example of 'le style Rothschild'.”
“This unique historic house offers something for everyone to enjoy, from the magnificent English Baroque Palace with its priceless collections, to the Pleasure Gardens filled with activities for children to enjoy. 2005 is packed with spectacular events and activities for the whole family. Costumed characters will be recreating history throughout the summer holidays from 23 July and during the half term weeks in October.”
“In 2005, LEGOLAND Windsor opens for its 10th season with five new attractions including three brand new rides.”
– Namesake and home of the Royal Family
There are a few establishments in and around Wallingford which have the word 'hotel' in their title. Although we don't, we are hotel-equivalent. OK, we don't run a bar or a dining room for evening meals but the quality of our accommodation and service at least equals, or betters, that which you would get in an hotel. That's enough about us. You want to know more about Wallingford.
Wallingford, situated on the Thames, was historically a walled Saxon town, and the remains of the town walls can still be seen today. William the Conqueror built Wallingford Castle and he, and his successors, used it as a royal residence until the time of the Black Death. The Castle was demolished by the order of Oliver Cromwell in 1646 after a 65 day siege. The 350th Anniversary of the siege has recently been celebrated. The remains of the Castle can still be seen from the Castle Gardens.
Wallingford was formerly a Borough, having its first Charter granted in 1155. The Council members are still robed and the Mace is processed on Ceremonial occasions. The Town Hall, built in 1670, houses the Town Plate and many portraits including the only known portrait of Judge Blackstone. Other portraits painted by Hayller, Lawrence and Gainsborough may be viewed by appointment.
Today Wallingford is a thriving Market Town; it is characterised by narrow streets with their variety of small shops, pubs and restaurants, the antique shops in the Lamb Arcade, and the parks, commons and gardens; the centre is a major conservation area with examples of churches and architecture dating back to the 14th Century; the landscape from the River Thames is officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Just 9 miles from our bed and breakfast in Benson is Henley-on-Thames, well known internationally for its annual Rowing Regatta which attracts the world's best sportsmen. Henley boasts a long straight section of river ideally suited to professional rowing events and has long been regarded as the home of English Rowing. Just down the river at Marlow-on-Thames lives Sir Steve Redgrave who won gold in 5 successive Olympic Games, an international record. His fame is immortalised by a statue of him in Higginson Park, Marlow, unveiled by the Queen. Statues of Sir Steve and Sir Matthew Pinsent greet visitors to Henley's award winning River and Rowing Museum.
Henley, a pretty market town with a population of 10,000, has many other attractions. The town's prosperity goes back to the 12th century as river trade developed because of the town's position. Today there is a comfortable mix of architectural styles spanning the centuries with many interesting features. A short distance from the riverbank is Henley town centre with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days. They also enjoy browsing the town's many boutiques.
Henley also attracts golfers to local courses, is home to the nationally known Henley Hawks rugby club and successful cricket and football clubs as well as a privately-owned polo ground. The stretch of river between the regatta finish and Henley Bridge is the location for the annual Henley Festival of Music and Arts. Now a popular hospitality venue it attracts some of the world´s top entertainers to perform on a floating stage in front of a dinner-jacketed audience and the site includes exhibitions of art and sculpture. The thriving Kenton Theatre is one of the oldest performing theatres in the country. The town is home to a number of small curiosity and antique shops that are sure to spark your interest.
Visitors can enjoy a boat trip down the regatta course, either in one of the commercial boats that operate along this stretch or, rather more energetically, in a rowing boat. Afterwards they can relax in the well-maintained Mill Meadows public park. Another form of enjoyment is the opportunity to enjoy a meal in one of Henley's many and varied restaurants and in April 2006 the Market Place and Town Hall hosted a two-day Henley Food Festival.